Update: In addition to taking out Best Camera of CES 2020 award, The Panasonic HC-X2000 is also a recipient of our Editors’ Choice award, which recognizes exceptional video production equipment, software and services. Click here to see all of the current Editors’ Choice winners in the camcorder category.
Congratulations to Panasonic, winner of our Best Camera of CES 2020 award with the robust HC-X2000.
At CES 2020, Panasonic introduced three new professional camcorders, positioned as the industry’s smallest and lightest 4K 60p professional camcorders with integrated lenses. These are designed for run & gun use: compact and light director’s cameras that can be carried anywhere and provide fast and high-quality 4K 60p recording.
All three cameras provide pro performance, with wide-angle 25mm lenses and 24x optical zoom, 4K high-precision AF, face detection AF/AE, 5-axis hybrid O.I.S, 120 fps super slow motion and 10-bit internal recording (4:2:2 to 4K 30p, 4:2:0 to 4K 60 p).
And they offer pro functions, including two manual rings, a ND filter, 24-bit high resolution linear PCM audio recording and built-in Wi-Fi for live HD streaming over Ethernet without any additional equipment.
The new design is significantly smaller and lighter, with a compact body approximately 60 percent of the volume of the previous HC-X1000 and weighing approximately 1.5 kg fully loaded. Even better, the heat-dispersing design with a thin fan and long-life battery offers an amazing continuous recording time of 4 1/2 hours (at 4K 60p / 200 Mbps) — without the battery protruding from the camera body.
Three new camcorders
The three new cameras will be available in late March 2020.
The base HC-X1500 is priced at $1699, and is targeted to high-amateurs and vloggers, for event, travel, hobby and family shooting. It omits support for higher-end formats and does not include the detachable Handle Unit (available separately for $300).
Then the HC-X2000 and AG-CX10 are targeted to one-person crew directors for on-location, report, event, interview and sports shooting.
The HC-X2000 is priced at $2199, and adds 3G-SDI support for connecting to an external recorder, plus the detachable Handle Unit.
The AG-CX10 is priced at $2500, and is specifically designed for broadcasting stations. It adds support for P2 MXF for broadcast editing systems, 24-bit linear PCM (MOV/P2 MXF), and NDI|HX mode for camera control via IP connection.
The detachable Handle Unit features a built-in LED video light, with dimmer from 30 to 100 percent. It also includes 2-channel XLR audio inputs and audio and zoom controls. It slides on and is mounted with a single screw for quick changes.
The integrated LEICA DICOMAR F1.8 – 4.0 lens with 4-drive lens system provides optical 24x zoom that ranges from 25mm wide angle to 600mm tele at UHD/FHD. Digital i.ZOOM extends to 32x at 4K and 48x at FHD resolution.
The 1/2.5-inch effective 8.29M BSI MOS sensor supports fast readout of 4K data at 60/50 fps, which suppresses rolling shutter distortion.
The 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) and Electronic Image Stabilization corrects handshake in 5 axes, including rotational blurring, even at high, 24x optical zoom.
The VENUS Engine image processor from Panasonic’s Lumix cameras now is used on these camcorders, supporting 4K resolution for 50/60p, and 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording to 29.97p in UHD, and 59.94p in FHD, with 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output to an external recorder. It also provides 200 Mbps HEVC recording to 59.94p. The cameras record to MP4, MOV and AVCHD file formats, plus the CX10 supports P2 MXF for broadcast editing.
The autofocus system supports 4K shooting, detecting subjects as soon as they enter the frame, tracking their movement, and keeping focus even when other obstacles (like cars) pass through the scene. The face detection AF/AE adds color recognition to keep tracking when a face is turned.
And the camcorders support super slow-motion recording in FHD mode at 120 fps (for 59.94 Hz) / 100 fps (for 50 Hz), including 10-bit recording, and with autofocus.
For audio, they support a 24-bit linear PCM (MOV, plus P2 MXF for the CX10), 16-bit AAC (MP4), or Dolby Audio (AVCHD) high-quality 2-channel audio recording, via the detachable Handle Unit.
The camcorders are thoughtfully designed with professional features. They have two Manual Rings, front for focusing and back selectable for zoom or iris operation, plus a jog dial. The rings are different sizes, so they can be identified by touch. There are 12 programmable User Buttons, five on the body and seven on the LCD touch panel, which can be assigned 38 different functions.
The 3.5-inch 2,760K-dot LCD monitor is larger and brighter for use in strong sunlight, and tilts to 270 degrees. The monitor can be used simultaneously with the 1,555K-dot tiltable viewfinder, so the shooter and an observer can both monitor the recording.
With two SD memory card slots, the camcorders provide Relay Recording by switching between slots, as well as Simultaneous or Background recording modes.
Finally, these cameras also are connected, with built-in Wi-Fi that supports HD live streaming, with RTSP/RTP/RTMP/RTMPS-compatible direct streaming (while also recording) over services including YouTube and Facebook Live, without requiring additional equipment. The AG-CX10 also includes a USB (micro AB) to LAN conversion adaptor for wired Internet connection.
The HC ROP (Remote Operation Panel) tablet application provides wireless remote control for up to eight cameras, including camera and lens control, avoiding the need for a separate switcher and re-encoding. The remote terminal also provides compatibility with wired remote controls. The X2000 and CX10 also support 3G-SDI for connecting to an external 1080p 60p/50p recorder.
Run ‘n Gun
These are attractive options from Panasonic, packing full 4K / 60p recording with pro features and controls in a package small enough for individual on-location shooting, and with 4 1/2 hour battery life. You can shoot 4K for large-screen projection or take advantage of the larger frame in editing to HD for close and wide crops. And you can stream directly from the camera, without requiring additional equipment, whether shooting a CEO presentation or a wedding party. The HC-X1500 is ready for event shooting, the HC-X2000 fills out higher-end formats and the AC-CX10 is designed for full broadcast use.
All three camcorders will be out in late March 2020.